Adverbial Phrases: Time, Place, and Frequency (including word order)

Remember that adverbs modify verbs in sentences.

They give us information about the verb such as how, when, where, and how often something occurs.

An adverbial phrase is a one or more words that modify the verb in a sentence.

Adverbial Phrases of Time

Some examples of adverbial phrases of time:

today the day before yesterday
tomorrow the day after tomorrow
the other day during the winter
this week / this month / this year over the summer
next week / next month / next year in the springtime
last week / last month / last year very late

 Adverbial Phrases of Place

Some examples of adverbial phrases of place:

here down through the looking glass
there up around the bend
back up front over the moon
near the (place) away from under the sea
around the corner in the box over the rainbow
out in the street side by side by the light of the silvery moon

Adverbial Phrases of Frequency

Some examples of adverbial phrases of frequency, in order of most frequent to least frequent:

For more details on how these are used click here.

always sometimes
usually occasionally
normally seldom
generally hardly ever
often rarely
frequently never

Word Order

An adverbial phrase usually comes after the main verb or object, or at the end of the sentence:

Noun Main Verb Adverbial Phrases
I worked very hard last week. (Time)
She / he lives right over there. (Place)
It happens again and again. (Frequency)

However, there are always exceptions:

Adverbial phrases of time can also appear in front of the noun when we want to emphasize the adverb.

Adverbial Phrase of Time Noun Verb
Later this week, the Queen will visit Balmoral Castle.
Until recently the telephone was used only for verbal communication.
Suddenly, the cat dashed up the tree.

 

Adverbials of frequency are usually placed between the noun and the verb or adverb:

Noun Adverbial Phrase of Frequency

Verb

I/You often stop here for a cup of tea.
He/She usually arrives on time.
It almost always rains if I forget my umbrella.
We/They never ate Frey pie again.

They also appear at the end of a sentence:

Noun

Verb

Adverbial Phrase of Frequency
I/You stop here for a cup of tea often.
He/She drives to the country every weekend.
It starts at noon sharp on Tuesdays.
We/They will not stay for very long.

And adverbials of place usually appear at the end of a sentence:

Noun

Verb

Adverbial Phrase of Place
I/You live here.
He/She sleeps over there by the fire
It stands on the spot where the old tavern was.
We/They sat at the back of the church.

Sometimes, in creative writing and music lyrics, the adverbial of place can begin a sentence:

Adverbial Phrase of Place
Outside, snow is glistening in the lane, are you listening?
Down in the boondocks …
Here comes the sun
Upstairs, at the end of the hall, there is a room where no one goes.

 

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